Afternoon Market Highlights


The grain markets bounced off their lows from yesterday, despite weakness in the equity market. There is much uncertainty in the marketplace over the spread of the coronavirus and what is at stake for the global economy.  

  • First Notice Day for March futures is Friday, with all long positions being reported after the close on Thursday.
  • The next USDA S&D report is scheduled for March 10 at 11 AM CDT. And then the biggie (Planting Intentions and March 1 Grain Stocks) at the end of the month (March 31st at 11 AM CDT.
  • Wall Street gets spanked again from an acceleration of the coronavirus to countries outside China, causing additional jitters.
  • The US$ tumbled on ideas that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates this year in hopes of relieving some pressure on the economy from the Chinese virus.
  • The energy markets are weaker with crude oil down 1.57 at $50.01/barrel.     


Corn prices clawed their way back to positive territory, despite continued weakness in the equity and energy markets. Gains were limited on ample global supplies of corn. Hearing that some folks are trying to pick some corn with moisture around 15-18 percent and test weights still below 53 pounds. 

  • Closes: March at $3.72 ½, up ¼ cent, July at $3.80, up ½ cent, September at $3.78, up ¼ cent, December at $3.82 ¼, unchanged.
  • Most months traded in a 2-4 cent range.
  • Gulf premiums were mostly unchanged for nearby.
  • South Korea’s feed operations were buyers of optional origin corn.
  • South American weather is thought to be mostly favorable.
  • There is another winter storm brewing for the ECB and southern US tonight and tomorrow.
  • Spreads: H/K 3 ¾-4 carry, H/N 7-7 ¾ carry, N/Z 1 ½-3 carry, Z/N1 15 ¾-16 ¼ carry. 


Soybean prices bounced higher on a bout of short covering, after yesterday’s steep losses. Traders have not given up hope for China to come to the plate for their big purchase of US beans. Gains are kept in check from record or near record crops expected out of South America. 

  • Closes: March at $8.79, up 4 ¾ cents, July at $8.99 ¾, up 5 ¾ cents, August at $9.03 ¾, up 5 ¾ cents and November at $9.10 ½, up 5 ½ cents. The products were mixed with meal up 40 cents and oil down 26 points.
  • Most soybean contracts traded in a 5-7 cent range.
  • Gulf premiums were mostly unchanged for nearby.
  • Brazil harvest was last thought to be near 34% complete, with Mato Grosso near 70% complete.
  • Spreads: H/K 9 ¼ carry, H/N 20 ¾ carry, N/X 10 ¾ carry, X/F 3 ¾ carry. 


Wheat prices pushed higher, rebounding from yesterday’s thumping on bouts of short covering. Gains were limited from plentiful world supplies and stiff competition in the world market.  Weakness in the US$ is somewhat offset by weakness in the Russian currency. The US becomes more competitive with a weakening US$ and so does Russia. 

  • March closes: Mpls at $5.16, up 2 cents, KC at $4.56 ¼, up 4 cents and Chicago at $5.39, up 2 ¾ cents.
  • Weakness in Russia’s currency gives them an edge up in the world export arena.
  • Ukraine begins to seed their spring crops. Their winter crops were said to have survived the winter weather with little damage expected to their wheat crop.
  • IL, KS and OK saw improved conditions in their winter wheat over the past week.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 14 carry (80% of full carry), good time to roll shorts to the May.......Kansas City H/K 7 carry, Chicago H/K 2 inverse. Mpls sits at a 65-cent premium to KC in the March contract. Chicago March sits at a 83 ¾-cent premium to the KC March.